There is an old addage that goes something along the lines of "let sleeping dogs lie". I would like to add a more obvious and yet unstated part to this saying: "don't reach in between fighting dogs". I could have made use of this nugget of info yesterday night. I had taken a break from studio time (this may have been the primary mistake) to go upstairs and spend at least a little time with Pinklady, lest she become overly cranky. So, there I was sitting on the couch, watching the news and playing a bit with Gracie. Reka was to my left, down at the end of the couch. Now, she was trying to sleep and wasn't taking to kindly to Gracie bumping and banging her way past as we played with the turtle, and let her displeasure be known with her usual low growl. And just like usually, we ignored her and continued playing.
Somehow, I got interested in what was on the TV and stopped paying attention to the interaction between Gracie and Reka. When I noticed what was going on between them, they were in a very alert staring match, practically nose to nose. Almost instantaneuosly, Reka barked at Gracie, and Gracie grabbed Reka's ear. This, of course, caused Reka to make some very unpleasant sounds. That was when my big dose of Stupid kicked in.
I reached across Reka's face to try and get her ear out of Gracie's mouth at exactly the same time she made a grab for her own mouthful of Gracie. Instead, she got the inside of my right wrist. I instantly forgot about the dogs and clutched at my damaged wrist. Then came the blood. Quite quickly. And in a surprising amount.
Now, as a side note for those of you who may not be overly familiar with the particular details of my anatomy, I offer this general description. I am not well insulated. Bones and tendons and the like are quite visible in most parts of my body. My hands and forearms are, for lack of a better descrition, very veiny. Almost to the point of being somewhat freakish in appearance. Bear that in mind as you continue onward.
I jumped up and ran to the kitchen where I stood over the sink and had that moment where I knew I had to look, but really didn't want to, given the amount of blood that had already seeped through my fingers. But I let go and was rewarded with a rapid fire patter of blood drops into the white sink. At this point my head got a little swimmy. I grabbed my wrist again while the room seemed to make a half turn around me. More blood squished between my fingers as I heard Pinklady call from the other room, "Are you all right?? Do we need to take you to the ER??" I looked at the dinner plate sized puddle in the bottom of the sink and and replied simply, "We need to go".
Everything in the room did another half loop when Pinklady came rushing into the kitchen, saw the mess in the sink, and started saying, "ohmygodohmygodohmygod" at a near frantic pace. She began corralling all the animals in to separate rooms wile I stood over the sink with a towel wrapped around my wrist while trying to keep her from going completely off the deep end. The whole time, visions of vascular repair surgery kept dancing around in my head. I made sure I could wiggle all my fingers and could feel everything, and tried to point this out to Pinklady as a good thing as she draped my coat around my shoulders, but I think she was a bit put off by the bloody towel I had clamped around my wrist.
The car ride to the hospital was thankfully short, as it had gotten somewhat icy outside. Pinklady kept looking at me and saying, "you look pale". I really wasn't too surprised at that.
The wait to be seen in the ER wasn't too long, and I discovered that the bleeding had actually stopped when I had to show one of the triage people what had happened. That did nothing to change the fact that I looked like an extra from some horror movie. And people kept saying that I looked pale. After the waiting came the cleaning, the shot, the antibiotic, and ONE SINGLE STITCH. I was almost insulted. One stitch. That's all it took to close up the hole. It was just a lucky grab on Reka's part that she managed to hit, and puncture, the vein. But, for as small as the vein is, there is obviously A LOT of blood that moves through there on a regular basis.
Now I have a sore shoulder from the tetanus booster, a wrist wrapped with Co-flex, and a single stitch protruding from a developing bruise like some bizarre lone whisker. Not to mention that the ER people said they'd have to report the bite to Animal Control, and Pinklady thinks they're gonna break down the doors in the middle of the night and take Reka away.
In short, the moral of the story: don't reach around the snappy, bitey part of the dog should you need to separate one from another.